The report states that discussions regarding potential agreements between Microsoft and Apple, as well as DuckDuckGo and Apple, will be made public. This decision comes from Judge Amit Mehta, who is overseeing a federal antitrust case against Google. According to Bloomberg News, Apple had engaged in talks with DuckDuckGo to potentially replace Google as the default search engine in private mode for Apple’s Safari browser. The details of these discussions are expected to be disclosed later this week after Judge Mehta ruled to unseal testimonies from DuckDuckGo CEO Gabriel Weinberg and Apple executive John Giannandrea.
Apple, DuckDuckGo, and Google have not yet responded to Reuters’ request for comment. Last month, during a landmark U.S. trial, the U.S. Department of Justice argued that Google, holding approximately 90% of the search market, was making illegal annual payments of $10 billion to smartphone manufacturers like Apple and wireless carriers such as AT&T to secure default search status on their devices, thereby maintaining its dominance. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella testified that major tech companies were competing for valuable content necessary for training artificial intelligence and expressed concerns about Google’s exclusive deals with publishers. He also mentioned that Microsoft had attempted to establish Bing as the default search engine on Apple smartphones but was met with resistance.